New Men*s Movement
"New Men*s Movement" is a work cycle dedicated to the connection between masculinity and right-wing thinking in the post-digital age. THE AGENCY will analyze these relationships in several productions between 2018 and 2020 and connect the digital and analogue space to create a counter-movement: a New Men*s Movement.
Our research in Japan in May/June 2018 and in Munich in September/October 2018, made possible by the scholarship Bloom up from the Rodeo Festival, has revolved around the phenomenon "Herbivore Men". The sociologist Maki Fukasawa used this term to describe heterosexual men in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties who do not pursue a typical career, do not play the role of breadwinner and husband, and - very present in the Western media - perhaps even have less or no sex. Herbivore (= plant-eating) is associated with Buddhism and is associated with descriptions such as "peace-loving", "noble" and "reaching a higher spiritual level". Soon the term became an insult to a generation of men among Japanese politicians, who were blamed for the low birth rate and the economic decline of the Japanese state: These men did not fulfil their duties, they were not men, it was said. This phenomenon, which takes place very quietly, is our starting point: What happens when men move away from the roles attributed to them by neoliberalism and patriarchy? And what would happen if this phenomenon were to develop into a movement beyond Japan?
"Gather up, Man up" was created as a showing during our Bloom up residency research and forms a first fragment of the cycle New Men*s Movement:
"Gather up, Man up" is the founding event of a new Men's Movement: Movement of contemporary Manliness, short: MOM.
The MOM Natives gather with their novices and investigate the rhetoric and practices of current, mostly right-wing masculinity in an offline meeting: the tears of the Sad Boys, the ghost status of the Men Going Their Own Way (mgtow.com) and the radical potential of Herbivore Men. MOM questions: What has to be given up, what has to be reclaimed?
How can understandings of masculinity beyond biological identity and heteronormativity be established? How can masculinity be a tool for change? How can we become MOM?
Within the frame of the Bloom up Residency THE AGENCY and their collaborators Nile Koetting (sound designer, performer), Taro Inamura (dramaturg, research Japan) and Kanako Azuma (video artist) from Tokyo were able to face the challenge of designing a New Men*s Movement that operates beyond identity politics in the current climate and offers positive potential for identification.
Pic: Franz Kimmel
"Gather up, Man up" developed as the first fragment of THE AGENCY´s cycle of works New Men's Movement as part of the Bloom up Residency of the Rodeo Festival Munich.
Supported by Rodeo Festival Munich, Goethe Institut Munich and Saison Foundation Tokyo.
Nile Koetting, Fabian Stumm, Kanako Azuma, Dorian Fabini, Taro Inamura, THE AGENCY
In the work cycle "New Men*s Movement" also the two works
BOYS SPACE and TAKE IT LIKE A MAN were created!
Part of the series MOVEMENTS